Another example of Smith's "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude, the Maze has been a fixture in their line of already amazing helmets. Designed with simplicity and style in mind, Smith cut out the frills and gadgets and made a minimalist, and functional, injection molded helmet. It's lightweight and simple, making it a great option for the backcountry along with resort riding.
Smith Maze MIPS Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, reasonably priced, well built
Cons: Vents fixed open, tricky size adjustment
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Smith Maze MIPS
|Price||$140.00 at REI|
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|$114.98 at Backcountry|
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|$134.98 at Backcountry|
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|$139.96 at Backcountry|
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|$89.97 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Lightweight, reasonably priced, well built||Comfortable, warm, vents well, style points||Toasty, comfortable, really well-built||Great interior fit, stylish look, warm||Well made, proven over the years, good ventilation, sleek|
|Cons||Vents fixed open, tricky size adjustment||Pricey||Expensive and a little heavy||Ear flaps can be noisy||Heavy|
|Bottom Line||A simple, light, great helmet.||Deemed best of the best by our testers, there isn't a better combination of performance available from any model we have tested at OutdoorGearLab.||A top of the line helmet for the avid skier.||A high-end helmet at a price that is a step down from other top models.||A top scoring helmet without any major flaws.|
|Rating Categories||Smith Maze MIPS||Smith Vantage MIPS||Smith Quantum MIPS||Giro Zone MIPS||Smith Variance|
|Goggle Compatibility (10%)|
|Specs||Smith Maze MIPS||Smith Vantage MIPS||Smith Quantum MIPS||Giro Zone MIPS||Smith Variance|
|Measured Weight (in ounces)||15.1 oz||17.7 oz||21 oz||17.9 oz||19 oz|
|Adjustment System||Self-adjusting lifestyle fit system||Boa Fit System||Boa FS360 fit system||In Form 2 Fit System, Vertical Tuning||Boa Fit System|
|# of Vents?||9||18||22||14||18|
|Number of Sizes||4||3||4||3||3|
|Removable Ear Covers?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Certifications||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B||CE EN1077||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Maze is a lightweight helmet and feels that way both in hand and on the head, but don't confuse that with a cheap feel. This helmet has clearly been constructed with a lot of thought. It's tight and clean, simple and efficient.
Fit and Comfort
The Maze fit most of our testers really well, with and without a beanie. As with other Smith helmets, it leans towards fitting rounder heads but can be adjusted to accommodate different shapes. One of the ways Smith achieved its simplicity was by dropping the BOA adjustment system. The Maze does have different foam pads that can be removed or at least rearranged in order to achieve a nice fit, but keep that in mind for sizing if you're planning on wearing a beanie underneath.
Although the Maze fit our lead tester well, it got docked a few points in our Comfort category for not having an adjustment system. If having an easy adjustment system is important to you, other options exist.
Helmets with vents that are fixed open can only be so warm; that's the nature of having cold air flowing through a helmet. Period, end of story. If you run hot or can fit a beanie under your helmet, then you probably won't have any issue at all. With that in mind, our testers had a fine time staying warm by adding a thin beanie or buff under the Maze on cold days. That said, without a way to adjust the helmet size easily on the go, adding and subtracting a beanie throughout the day will affect the fit.
With the above critique in mind, remember that the Maze only has nine vents. And, helmets with adjustable ventilation are superior to those without. That said, the Maze has removable earpieces, which can let in a lot of air flow on a warm day. Although this isn't a ventilation-specific helmet, it does a great job pulling air through the helmet when you're moving, and the only time our testers had an issue with overheating was while side-stepping or hiking to distant in-bounds terrain.
Weight and Bulk
The Maze is one of the lightest contenders in our review. It fit all of our testers well and has a modern look that is pleasing to the eye and fit under our testers' hoods on stormy days. Some will make the argument that a lighter helmet is a better option, because less weight on your head decreases the chances of whiplash injuries during a crash. This is, however, hard to prove definitively in any tests. If weight is your thing, then this is your helmet.
As with other Smith helmets, the Maze performed the best with Smith goggles, with only the most subtle gap noticed during cold days and high speeds. The removable goggle lock held our goggles in place, with no fear of them falling off. Some will prefer to wear their goggles on the inside of this helmet, a new-school look, and will choose to remove the goggle clip in the back for an even cleaner look.
Our testers liked the look of the Maze, no frills with a clean shape. It feels modern and new age but doesn't present as bulky like some of the other more skate-inspired helmets. The Maze treads the gray area between old and new school, and we see people wearing their goggles on the inside and outside of the helmet. The color choices of the Maze add a lot of style as well.
Whether skiing inbounds or hiking in the backcountry, the Maze will perform beautifully. A favorite for many in the industry, this helmet suits the weekend warrior or the 100-day-a-year die hard.
The Maze (below, left) is a great choice that won't break the bank for a solid, well-built helmet from a name you know and trust. If you split time at the resort and in the backcountry, the value of this model increases.
Smith knocked out a great product with the Maze. They shot for a simple, minimalist helmet and they achieved that in volumes. Comfortable, stylish, and warm enough, it vents well and feels light on your head. On top of all that, it's more affordable than much of its competition.
— Sam Piper